ALLAHABAD: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today condemned the police firing on agitating farmers in Madhya Pradesh and urged the central government to "urgently" take measures like "total waiver of loans".
VHP international working president Pravin Togadia also said "the dream of Ram Rajya can not be realised if farmers continue to be debt-ridden and driven to suicide". "We fail to understand what could have been the provocation behind opening fire on the protesters at Mandsaur.
Our security forces have been lenient enough to use rubber bullets against even separatist mobs in Kashmir. "In Madhya Pradesh, the farmers, including the ones who were killed, were our own people", Togadia told PTI over phone.
He said that at a recent meeting at Ayodhya regarding the Ram temple, it was discussed that the vision of Ram Rajya includes not just the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir but also the welfare of farmers, who form the backbone of the country's economy and society. "We urge the Union government to take urgent pro-farmer steps like total waiver of loans.
It must also pass a law making it mandatory to provide farmers with a minimum support price that is 1.5 times the cost of production.
This issue must be addressed at the national level and not shrugged off as a state subject," the firebrand VHP leader said. Togadia demanded that the government must implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission at the earliest.
He also said that care should be taken that fertile and cultivable land was not acquired from the farmers for infrastructure projects. "Such misplaced economic priorities would make India dangerously dependent on other countries for its food requirement", the VHP leader said.
He also demanded that free water to every farm, subsidised power, financial support for education of children of farmers and marriage of their daughters, be provided.
The government, he said, must also act against the middlemen who create a situation wherein farmers are compelled to sell their produce at lower rates but the same is made available to buyers at a much higher price. "The VHP is doing its bit to alleviate the agrarian distress.
We have launched a Samruddha Kisan (prosperous farmer) campaign as part of which thousands of farmers have been trained in what we call zero budget farming. "We are also distributing free of cost a special, scientifically developed powder which will come in handy in the event of deficient rainfall," Togadia added.